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Xbox-Hq.Com :: View topic - USB Flash Drive Compatibility
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rorysl
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:34 pm   
Post subject: USB Flash Drive Compatibility
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Hey guys, sorry if this question has been asked before but I tried to search the forums and got an error page...not sure if it's Xbox-HQ or my browser (probably my browser!)...

I've always found trying to figure out what flash drives are compatible with XBMC a headache. I had a bunch of 1gig sticks that worked, then found some Kingston Data Traveller 102 4GB sticks that work good. Anyway, last night I attempted to use a NexxTech 4GB stick I have that I'd tried before but never worked but out of curiousity I reformatted it on my Mac MS-DOS (FAT). It ended up formatting it as FAT32 and the XBMC totally recognizes the drive. I stuck a VIDEO folder on it with a couple AVI's and plugged it back in, it still recognizes the stick and I can open the flash drive and even open the VIDEO folder but it won't play any of the avi files.

So that got me to thinking what makes different USB sticks compatible and non-compatible, mountable and non-mountable?

And yes I normally just stream all my video over my network but occasionally, when need arises, I have to use a flash drive to get files onto the box, etc.


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SPPV
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:01 am   
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Its not the drive but the file system

FAT: Not recognized by UnleashX, Evox, XBMC or Avalaunch
EXTFS: Recognized by XDSL only
FAT32: Recognized by XBMC(4GB MAX)- Can copy from- very slow but cant copy to (UnleashX will recognize some drives but is very picky)
NTFS: Recognized by XBMC- Can watch movies etc off NTFS but cant copy from or to.
FATX: Recognized by all XBOX dash



Off topic: Theres an issue with the DHT on the UDP tracker for the Res Evil ROM thats why its been so slow so Im gonna send you another torrent file with a hosted tracker when you double click it Utorrent/Bittorrent should give you a message like "this torrent is already loaded would you like to add the trackers from it" and hit yes



Capturefat32.PNG
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It should look like this when you format it
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Capturefat32.PNG




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rorysl
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:28 pm   
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Ok cool, that's all really useful information. I tried reformatting my NeXXtech drive as FAT32 which it did successfully and this time it didn't mount at all..... So my further question is this: Will ANY flash drive work in XBMC if properly formatted to FAT 32?


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SPPV
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:43 pm   
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Every one Ive tried thats 4GB or less has worked for me. Ive used Sandisk, Kingston, Samsung, Hitachi and some no namer dollar store drives without problem. The 4096 is the important part if you format at 16 or 32 it wont mount (or at least thats been my experience). Also a full format is a good idea since quick formats can leave artifacts of previous file systems behind causing corruption especialy on something as picky as a linux based app like XBMC.

Over 4GB format as NTFS, XBMC can mount and access it youre just stuck having to watch stuff off the drive since you cant copy to or from a NTFS drive with XBMC. Im sure with just a couple of lines of code added XDSL could handle NTFS since it only took 14 lines of code to port FATX to Linux for XBOXHDM.


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rorysl
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:57 pm   
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Weird. I totally took that very same NeXXtech 4GB drive, reformatted it as Fat32 with the allocation unit size of 4096, copied an avi to it. XBMC mounted the drive no problem, I accessed it and tried to open the avi and the spinning symbol in the top right hand corner ran for a second but then nothing happened. Try to open it again and same thing. Going to try another Flash Drive I've been unable to get working and see what happens. Maybe try another AVI too... One that I know works on my other XBMC friendly flash drive.


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rorysl
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:21 pm   
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Ok, after some hunting around here's what I've come up with.

I have three 4GB drives:

CoreMicro
Nexxtech
Kingston Data Traveler 102

Now I have three Kingston's as I picked them up and they worked out of the package in XBMC. Two of them died on me and that left me with one working flash drive that XBMC would accept.

The CoreMicro and the Nexxtech never worked out of the packaging so I had given up on them as XBMC friendly flash drives. I reformatted both of them on my WinXP machine using Disk Management; Fat32 and File Allocation Size of 4096. After doing so XBMC was able to mount both drives which it hadn't been able to do before.

I copied the same avi file to all three drives.

Kingston played the file no problem.
CoreMicro played the file no problem.

Nexxtech wouldn't. As I said above, it mounted, I could access the filesystem, start the file and it would try to load then stop.

Thoughts? It doesn't really matter a whole lot as, thanks to you, I now know what the missing ingredient was to build an XBMC friendly flash drive but I'm just curious as to what's up with that Nexxtech drive.


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SPPV
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:40 pm   
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I would think its either the memory controller or the drive doesnt truly support an allocation size of 4096. NexT Tech is also a very shitty brand Ive used their DVDs before 2 packs of 50 and every single disc said it had no free space straight out of the package and would refuse to burn. The Source doesnt sell quality store brands sadly. Ive never heard good things about NextTech, but I have seen XBOXs refuse a drive then accept it. For the longest time it would refuse to recognize my Sandisk 4GB SDHC card but the latest XBMC build picks it up without issue.

Which build are you running right now? I would reccomend updating to the July28 T3CH Build if you havent already. And Ill have the August build up in about a week (they do daily builds but I only do monthly releases for Spoof Disc)


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rorysl
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:47 pm   
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Ah gotcha, yes I need to run an update but I'm working on a standalone box. I'll hook it up to some internet somewhere and run the T3CH updater. And yes, NeXXTech is garbage!

One of the things you said in your reply earlier intriques me though and that's USB drives over 4GB's as NTSC. Could an external hard drive be formatted as NTSC and mounted by XBMC? I know there are file-size limitations but with the correct formatting and partitioning could a drive be used like that? All of my googling says no but, then again, until we had this conversation all of my googling said flash drives either worked or didn't and had nothing to offer in terms of correct formatting to get a flash drive to work! You and Xbox-HQ are such an awesome resource!


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SPPV
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:58 pm   
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Some external HDD will work. It needs to have its own power source though and be USB1.0 compliant. I tried with a 500GB Seagate Free Agent that I partitioned off 100GB on and formatted FAT32 and it picked it up but couldnt supply steady power so it kept shutting off then turning on. My 320 WD Caviar in an IPro case with external power and NTFS was picked up by XBMC and UnleashX.40 and I was able to access some stuff like music and movies but it was very slow and took maybe 60 seconds to buffer a 8mb song and play it and when I ran Bloody Roar Extreme off it in UnleashX.40 it would run for about 3 minutes then pause while it loaded more to memory. The main thing (just a theory) is cache space. Just like a PC an XBOX will load data into memory and use it from there as opposed to directly off the USB, and with the very limited cache on an xbox not nearly enough can be loaded to keep that steady flow. Its almost like watching a youtube video thats constantly stopping to buffer. Im trying to figure out how to use the Q and Z partitions as pagefile so that it has 750mb of cache space but I dont see any breakthroughs coming in the very near future

Spoof Disc works great for updating takes about 2 minutes and you can download here on site from the Spoof Disc thread. Just DL the 4 parts, extract and burn to disc at 4x. It can do XBMC as dash or app


Last edited by SPPV on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total


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rorysl
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Post Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:06 pm   
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Interesting stuff! Very cool indeed. Like I said, I usually stream all my video/music/etc over my network but the reason I'm so interested in external hard drives/flash drive compatibility is I generally work away in the summers where internet / wiring for streaming can be questionable, the flash drives allow me to watch downloaded video no problem. And now that I've learned how to tackle all flash drives/bigger than 4gig flash drives, I'm set!

Thanks a ton!


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SPPV
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:01 am   
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The other thing you can do for movies and such to guarantee they will play is make a folder, put your movies in it, add a default.xbe from any XBOX game then use CXBOX-Tools to make the folder an ISO and burn to DVD-r at 4x


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